Iâm not entirely sure when this became a lost art, nor when the morally adrift masses that the ignorant call âSocietyâ deemed this ancient ritual redundant. I find it disgusting that I challenged a 19 year old civvy to a dance-off this weekend and she didnât have a clue about what one was. The travesty that resulted was painful to behold - it was like calling Mohammed Ali (before he got the shakes) into the ring to punch a kitten in the face. It just wasnât cricket. Executed correctly, a dance-off is a beautiful way to underline humanityâs mastery of music, form, style and, in extremis, Kung Fu. It can be a mating ritual, a non-violent duel or simply a celebration. Itâs especially useful when dealing with lairy women when a swift punch in the ovaries is socially unacceptable. I found reason to extend the challenge after being told, whilst at a party, that the young lady in question âFancies herself as a bit of a dancer.â Sensing combat I fell into a fighting stance and approached her. A mate of mine, wise in such matters, described her as a Ukrainian child prostitute and to be fair he wasnât far off, but she had a nice arrse and I revelled in the promise of sparring youth against experience. The dance-off equivalent of slapping your adversary around the fizzer with an iron gauntlet is to look her slowly from toe to head, nod slightly and declare âDance Off.â At this point the bar will usually fall into awed silence and your second will detail the rules: 2 songs each, only the first 30 seconds from each song will be played 3 Genres â 80âs popular, 70âs funkdisco or early 90âs Wigger Hip Hop. NO Boy Bands. The independent adjudicator is then usually named. Tradition dictates that it should be the Bride/Groom, Senior Man present, oldest Chelsea Pensioner or the young child with leukaemia for which the charity disco is being held. The second then announces a 10-minute period in which the protagonists must choose their songs and warm up/rehearse as required. In hotels they are obliged to provide red and blue corner warm up rooms if requested. They are allowed to use the monitor headsets on the disco system to ensure they have chosen wisely. At the allotted time the pugilists move to the dance floor. Ladies should always have the chance to go first. My jailbait oppo decided to lead with âGirls Just Wanna have funâ a jaunty number with a low technical weighting but which, if well executed, can be a hit with the judges. Unfortunately this lapdancing Lolita failed to rise to the occasion and simply bounced and wiggled up and down the dance floor. The amateur had exposed her jugular to me and I closed in for the kill. I lead with âWild Boysâ by Duran Duran. Moderate technical difficulty and always a controversial choice. If done half-heartedly and without a complete belief in oneâs sexuality it leaves the audience thinking youâve gone a little bit Brighton and they start to worry that youâll finish with a Naked balloon dance version of âDo You Really Want to Hurt Meâ by your boy, George. Luckily I nail it. Two lateral Hand-Jives followed by a retreat to the rear of the dance floor and culminating in the classic double-knee slide with devil rock-salute across the entire length of the floor. Little miss RodJaneandFreddy started to wonder what she had gotten herself into by this point. Instead of upping her game, she chokes. She stutters through Tiffanyâs epoch defining âI Think weâre Alone Nowâ with a self-consciously smiling squaddie 2 step. All the while the largely military crowd are baying for her 19 year old blood. The disgust is palpable. Not only do I have to step up and brush this young pretender from the plate with the contempt she deserves, but my coup de grace must be executed in a style worthy of the greatest Dance-Off traditions. The true Dance-Off is not sullied by the ineptitudes of the unworthy â my dance off master, Tim V, taught me that. I choose Ninaâs sublime â99 Red Balloonsâ Do not underestimate the difficulty of this song, it is the Miyagi-san Crane-Kick of the modern Dance-Off. Remember, we only have 30 seconds and almost 25 seconds of the intro are her talking about balloons. To pull this off I must be focussed and have my props prepared. I kneel before the DJ, back to the crowd. As Ninaâs words drift across the dry ice, I unravel the red sash I have in my hands, straight out in front of me like a Samurai preparing for his final battle. Iâm in my ceremonial Blues uniform so the impact is doubled as I tie the sash in a neat Kamikaze Bandana around my head. All in tune to Ninaâs words. Still kneeling, I bend back slowly so that my head touches the ground. I wind my arms out straight and as she fades â99 Red Balloons Go Byâ¦.â into silence, I flick upright and strike a pose. I have been dancing to no beat now for nearly 25 seconds. The audience is silent. The finale comes as the beat kicks in, I run, only seconds are left, I jump forward and up, drop my shoulder and execute a Dojo-perfect Aikido shoulder roll that leaves me on the final beat, upright and in a Travolta disco pose. The crowd goes wild, the Dance Off has been taken to a whole new level. This summer, take the word and spread it â be responsible for the renaissance of a nearly dead art form. Teach those civvies how to do it at wedding receptions, Bar Mitzvahs, christenings and barbecues. Remember the Bushido of Dance-Off and rememberâ¦ There Can Be Only One.